RANDOM TIDBITS

The best thing the NHL has done in a long time are these “History will be Made” commercials. They are easy to mimic, which fans have done a thousand times over, and the old footage is great way to visit memory lane. Their up-to-dates ones are pretty decent as well. After game five they came up with the one above.

The Human Rake, Chris Pronger, says he doesn’t read the newspapers, but you can bet he will have seen this by game time tonight. The Rake was -5 in game five, and if there was ever proof that the +/- stat can be misleading, that sums it up. Sure he wasn’t great, but those suggesting he is tired haven’t been paying attention.

The Rake was -3 in game three of the Eastern conference final and we heard whispers the Rake was tired. He completely dominated games four and five. No way the Rake doesn’t bounce back tonight and play great. He is too arrogant and cocky not to. The Flyers will win and for the second straight year we will have a game seven on a Friday night.

WHY WAIT?

 

I don’t understand Steve Tambellini’s actions when it comes to his coaches. Wayne Flemming, Kelly Buchberger and Rob Daum’s contracts expire June 30th. You can make arguments both ways why they should stick or be let go, but why would Tambellini have them twist in the wind?

If he doesn’t want to bring them back, he should have let them know weeks ago. There aren’t many coaching opportunities in hockey, and the longer Tambellini waits to make a decision, the less likely one of these men could catch on with another team.

If they aren’t a good fit for the Oilers, he needs to be respectful and give them a chance to latch on in another organization. And if he is going to re-sign them, but didn’t have time to negotiate contracts, why not just have a handshake agreement and iron out the contract details later on.

You can’t tell me the past month hasn’t been a stressful time in the Buchberger, Fleming or Daum household. Daum and Fleming never made millions, so not knowing if they will have a paycheck in three weeks would be unnerving. Tambellini needs to make a decision either way quickly. Even if all three of them get re-signed, he still put them through six weeks of unnecessary stress.

I know he has lots on his plate with the 1st overall pick, travelling to Europe to sign players and checking out the Memorial Cup to evaluate players, but great leadership requires open communication.

CAN GOLF SOFTEN YOUR HANDS?

Zack Stortini is working on softening up his hands on the ice and on the links.

Stortini is working on his golf game with Windemere golf instructor, Cam Martens, and he is getting one-on-one instruction from Steve Serdachny, Oilers skills and skating coach, up to three times a week.

Stortini was an 18 handicap at the start of the summer and is hoping to be a ten by September. He’s also looking at improving his skills on the ice.

Most players try and avoid being on the ice until August. They focus more on off-ice workouts instead, but not Stortini. The 94th pick in 2003, has been on the ice two to three times a week for the past month.

“At the end of the season Tom Renney told me I needed to work on making plays in tight areas if I wanted more icetime. I don’t want to be a one-dimensional player,” Stortini told me yesterday at the TEAM 1260 golf tournament where he was unlucky enough to be paired up with none other than OilersNation own Wanye Gretz.

“I know what my role is, so I still spend lots of time working on getting stronger and faster, but I want to contribute more, so I need to be better with the puck. Not just around the net, but along the boards and in the neutral zone.” Serdachny works with Stortini on a rotational basis of twice one week, then three times the next week.

Their on-ice practices vary anywhere from one hour to two hours. They work on skating, mostly explosiveness, and spend lots of time on fine tuning the “skill” part of Stortini’s game.

“I do the same drills with Zack that I would with Ales Hemsky or Jordan Eberle. Of course their skill sets are different, but getting Zack to change the angle of his stick in tight, or focus on his body position in front of the net will help him. “You can’t teach him to do what Hemsky does at full speed, but I want Zack to think the same way in the tight areas. Most goals are scored from in tight, so Zack should be able to use his size and find himself in better scoring positions.”

Stortini has no illusions of what type of player he can be, but he realized that if he wanted to become a regular 3rd liner, he needed to improve his puck skills. Entering his 4th full season, it is clear Stortini wants to be more of a factor.

If he can take eight strokes off his golf game, and add eight points on the ice, that would make for a pretty successful off-season.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    So when do we hear the tales of Wanye and Zach playing golf together? There has GOT to be a story from that!

    In other news, i am excited about his dedication to get better! His attitude has always been his strongest assest. If it (and Gagner’s dedication) can rub off on other players we would have an amazing team, focused on a particular goal. We just need to shed some of the under achievers…

    *throws another dart at his POS dart board*